Friday, June 01, 2007

Another Garage Sale "Bargain"

Hubster has been complaining about the TV.

"I think I need to go to the eye, the TV screen is fuzzy."

"Can you read that?"

"I can hardly decide what to watch, can't see the words well enough to see what's on."

He asked for $200 for a new TV. A 42 in 750 lb beauty at Best Buy. With visions of a 42 in plasma flat screen and a van with an actual working transmission dancing in my head I politely told him to forget it.

Anyway. I subscribe to Small Town County Garage Sale. It's like Freecycle...only...not free. It's how I found that great deal on the pool last summer. (And if I could navigate blogger and find that post I'd insert a nifty little link right about now, but since I can't and I need to finish this up sometime today I won't.) Long story short, I got a great deal on an inflatable backyard pool but got a speeding ticket on the way to pick it up...negating my savings entirely.

SO I found this great 36 in color TV for just $50.

Drove to Even Smaller Town Texas to pick it up. With Hubs car. The man laughed at me when I told him that the plan was to stick it in the trunk. SO the man and his 20 something son go in and get the TV. They were barely out the door of the house when they needed to rest. I'm thinking, "Man, that thing must be heavier than I thought", but after much huffing and puffing, they get it to the car, wedge it into the front door and into the gear shifter. Great. Only problem is that I forgot my bungee cords to tie the door shut with. SO they try to extricate the TV from the car. Pretty soon, the son says "I can't get it out!" Visions of me driving down the road with a 36 in color TV hanging out my door appear before my eyes and I panic. I climbed in the car and heaved that sucker outta there and I have to say, not as heavy as I had expected from the amount of huffing and puffing going on with my moving crew. So they put it in the back seat, after tearing half the vinyl off Hubsters back door handle/armrest thingymajig. And suddenly, I'm the proud new owner of a 36 in color TV set that takes up an entire back seat of a 1995 Nissan Maxima and as I stood there holding the car seat that is a nearly permanent fixture in said back seat, I realized I was going to have to put the kids in the trunk because I was not leaving them at the trailer park with Billy Bob, his son Jethro and their 4 large dogs. The kids, being scared of the dark, vetoed the trunk idea and squished their little bodies around the TV set and we set out for our illegal-in-the-state-of-texas-and-punishable-by-up-to-two-hundred-dollars-in-fines journey home. When we saw the friendly Texas DOT public safety officer, I just screamed "DIVE, DIVE, DIVE" and the kids threw themselves under the seats.

After we left Even Smaller Town Texas and the safety of the open road stretched out before us, I discovered why the moving crew was so out of breath. From the smell that was coming from the back seat, they probably had to have smoked 37 packs of cigarettes each...daily. So we rolled down the windows, kept a sharp look out for friendly Texas DOT public safety officers and meandered our way back home.

Once we got here, I cleaned off the entertainment center, removed the fuzzy TV,( and all the fuzzy stuff underneath it...eeeewwwww.) And decided to put the TV on the yard cart to bring it inside. Hubster was supposed to be going to work out so I thought a newer, clearer TV would be a nice surprise when he got home. The TV really wasn't as heavy as the moving crew thought, so I hefted it out of the backseat and onto the cart, removing the remaining vinyl on the door interior and silently congratulating myself on marrying a husband with some...shall we say muscles (since we don't want Grandma G's content filter to prevent her from accessing the old bloggy due to adult content) and that he raised boys into fine young men with muscles and also not smoking so as to negate all those muscles. Hubster pulled up right as B and I were dragging the cart into the house and took over the project, which included a bit of demolition to the TV armoire due to a miscalculation on the size of the new 36in color TV vs. the size of the armoire. So we got the thing into position, hooked it up and turned it on. What we saw was a sight to behold.

The top half of the screen was...shall we say, a bit more than fuzzy...a WY snowstorm would more accurately describe it. And the bottom half? Clear as a bell. Beautiful picture...if you happen to be standing on your head. Yes, the bottom third of the picture was upside.down. We stared. We hit the tv on the side. We waited. We sat on the couch. I called Billy Bob's wife and asked if there was any way to adjust the picture. They didn't answer the phone. I called the cable company to see if half upside down picture was part of the new cable line-up or some freaky cable outage. I wouldn't say that they hung up on me, but they did say they could send someone out to look at in sometime around the year 2010. As we waited, the picture did finally right its self and only the bottom fourth of the screen had wavy lines that made everyone on CSI have Jay Leno chins. I lit some candles to mask the stench and we waited a few more hours. Hubster very generously told me it was better than what we had and I DID, after all save him $150 in not allowing him to purchase the brand new, even bigger, non-stinky TV set, and by the time we went to bed last night, only a small, one inch or so wavy line section remained, most of the picture was on the screen and the guide menu was no longer distorted and wavy-lined into an unreadable mess at the bottom of the screen.

I haven't turned it on yet this morning.

But I have lit 3 $25 Salt City Candles and dug out my $25 vinyl repair kit to start repairing the OTHER damages my bargain has extracted. After I dump my $50 bottle of perfume on the sucker to try and eliminate the smokey bar room smell that now permeates my house, I figure I should still be about even with the purchase of the new TV set, and I will have saved myself the cost of tax.


jd said...

Oh this bumms me out. My bargin finds aren't always excellent purchases for us either. But I still would do it all over again if I had the choice :)

Gabriela said...


sounds like something that would happen to me. At least you didn't get a ticket this time round!